EAC supports a municipal climate tax as an important tool, but questions remain on implementation | Ecology Action Centre

EAC supports a municipal climate tax as an important tool, but questions remain on implementation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, November 26, 2021 

K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - Today, the Halifax Regional Municipality council will debate the merits of adopting a strategic direction that includes a three per cent climate tax. The Ecology Action Centre supports a climate tax as an important tool to increase dedicated funding for climate action, but questions remain about the proposed tax and its implementation.   

“Municipalities are on the front lines of addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency,” says Kelsey Lane, senior climate policy coordinator with EAC. “Whether it’s building critical infrastructure or providing essential services, it’s imperative that all levels of government invest now to help our communities prepare.”  

The HRM's proposed climate financing would increase property tax by approximately $63 per year on an average property owners’ tax bill.  

“Increasing property tax is not the only mechanism to fund climate action, but it is critical that municipalities have every tool available to prepare and support our communities.” says Lane. “Our governments cannot continue to burden future generations with the costs of our inaction. Every dollar we don’t spend now, future generations pay for three to five times over in recovery costs.” 

Though supportive of a municipal climate tax, EAC is concerned by a lack of details provided to councilors regarding HRM’s proposed increase. 

“There are still a number of questions to be answered about a climate action tax,” says Lane. “For example, what supports will be available to those who are disproportionately impacted by the increase? Will this tax provide additional budget to climate action, or simply offset other priorities? What specific programs and infrastructure will this revenue support? We need to address these issues and others as we move forward.”   

Despite the lack of details, EAC remains supportive of a municipal climate tax, stating that there is no time to waste in addressing the climate emergency. 

“We've seen the devastating effects of flooding, heatwaves and forest fires across Canada,” says Lane. “The climate crisis is happening right now, and we need more than feel-good targets. Whether through a tax or another mechanism, we need funding and action so we can ensure our communities have the support they need for climate change mitigation and adaptation.” 

 

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Media contact: 

Kelsey Lane (she/her) 

Senior Climate Policy Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre 

(902) 266-5263 

Kelsey.lane@ecologyaction.ca 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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